The Great Films of China: The Best Chinese Films

We’re celebrating Chinese New Year with some of our absolute fave Chinese movies! We’ve included films directed by someone Chinese, set in China, featuring dialogue in a Chinese dialect, or influenced by Chinese culture. No matter what floats your boat there’s one thing we can definitely all agree on: nothing can have you pining for your epic teenage school romance that never happened and wanting to learn kung fu quite like Chinawood can.

From modern rom-coms to Jackie Chan in his prime to beautiful AF animation, our list is in no particular order…

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Mostly, we’re just impressed by how much they can talk during fights. We can just about talk and walk at the same time, so that’s a skill on its own, tbh. The Queen of Asian Action Movies Cheng Pei-pei is here to blow you away with more magic than you can shake a wand at. If you’re looking for a good female role model, ya found her. #Sorted #GetYouAWomanThatCanTakeOutAnArmy

Best quote:

“I would rather be a ghost drifting by your side as a condemned soul, than enter heaven without you… because of your love, I will never be a lonely spirit.”

Ip Man

The best kung fu master in the whole of Foshan is FoSho about to win your love (if anyone knows how to say “dreamy” in Chinese, holla). Based on the true story of the man who trained Bruce Lee and defeated, like, the whole world, Ip Man is the most inspiring person ever. He’s a fighting machine with a whooole lotta heart. (P.S., we don’t know of any other kung fu master who can look cute AF by blinking. That’s talent.)

Best quote:

“I’m just a Chinese man.”

Big Fish & Begonia

(It’s okay, we spent about 5 years staring at the GIF too)
It’s got everything you could want: love, dolphins, soul keepers, drowning, rat matrons, pretty boys with hair as white as snow and a moral lesson about how you should always be thankful you’re not a fish. Or something like that. Based on ancient Chinese folklore, you’ll learn the importance of sacrifice and what it really means to love someone. (Good thing you can’t see tears underwater…)

Best quote:

“We can never undo the wrongs we’ve done. This I know.”

Crazy Rich Asians

Based on the book by Kevin Kwan, if you think you’ve seen everything a rom-com has to offer, think again, boo. Not only is it like watching that one dream you had when you were 14 (y’know, finding out your partner is secretly a prince/Batman/a bajillionaire? We’ve all had it) but it’s ALSO full of eye-candy. Not the people kind. The bed kind. You’ve never seen beds that look this comfy, like, ever. (Side note: Peik Lin is the bestie everyone wants but not everyone deserves.)

Best quote:

“I’m not leaving because I’m scared, or because I think I’m not enough, because maybe for the first time in my life, I know I am.”

Lilting

Started from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and now we’re here! The literal GODDESS of Swords Cheng Bae-bae is back in action in this super emotional sob-worthy LGBT film writer and director Hong Khaou gifted the universe. Her son was leading a life she knew nothing about, and the only moment she gets access into his world is after an accident which cost him his life. Yeah. We know. We’re gonna need some ice-cream and tissues with our popcorn.

Best quote:

“These memories are all I have, I need to keep them vivid, or they’ll fade like the face of my husband.”

In the Mood for Love

If you’re looking for an excuse to keep going back to your fave restaurant, a pretty good one is that you just might meet the love of your life. If that isn’t a reason to keep stuffing your face with whatever makes your mouth water, we’re not sure what is. Pro-Tip: If you do meet the love of your life make sure to keep in touch. This movie gets real sad, real fast and it all could have been avoided via text.

Best quote:

“You notice things if you pay attention.”

Extraordinary Mission

If you’re more into explosions than crying into your dog’s fur (if you don’t have one, borrow from a friend), then go up a gear. It’s so epic, you just might call it extraordinary. Buckle up, Rooftoppers, we’re heading straight to Golden Triangle — the heart of a massive drug trafficking syndicate. Jiā yóu!

Best quote:

*BOOM*, *POW*, *KAPOW*, *PSCCHHAAAAAWW* (or whatever sound being a total badass makes)

Yi Yi

Basically, life sucks. No matter how old you are. This is about as realistic as movies get. From the son that’s 8 years old all the way up to the father who… is… uh… 35(?)(100?), each member of the Jian family is really going through it. Bullies at school, broken hearts, and comatose mothers… the moral of the story is that every single person in the world has problems, so be nice.

Best quote:

“They all say you’ve gone away. But you didn’t tell me where you went. I guess it’s someplace you think I should know. But, Grandma, I know so little. Do you know what I want to do when I grow up? I want to tell people things they don’t know. Show them stuff they haven’t seen. It’ll be so much fun. Perhaps one day… I’ll find out where you’ve gone.”

Drunken Master

Jackie Chan is the King of Mischief. He flirts with a woman who’s actually his cousin, attacks someone, and tries to get a meal for free right in front of the restaurant owner all within, like, the first five minutes of this film. As punishment for being a Wild Child, he is made to learn a style of martial arts all about being drunk and kicking ass. #Relatable. Wanna learn how to use a chair to dodge kicks? This is the one and only place to be taught.

Best quote:

*incoherent drunken garbling*

Mulan

Starring the amazing Wen Ming-na, Mulan is probably one of the best Disney movies evah. Pending the live action that hasn’t even come out yet (but is probably already one of the greatest things ever to be witnessed by human eyeballs), we’re all in awe with this girl that’s worth fighting for. GET ‘EM MULAN. HONOUR ON YOU, HONOUR ON YOUR COW!

Best quote:

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

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